Diabetes and Diet – Foods You Can Trust

 Diabetes and diet
 

Monitor Sugar Intake

If you have diabetes, monitoring you sugar intake is vital to managing the disease to avoid associated complications.  Even a healthy, well-balanced diet will contain natural sugars, such as the fructose in fruits and the lactose in milk. It’s the amount of added sugars found in the typical diet that is problematic.

This is equally true for those with and without diabetes.

For adults, the FDA guideline recommends capping added sugar at 12.5 teaspoons (50 grams) per day. The average candy bar has about 25 grams of sugar, so this threshold can be easily exceeded without proper diligence.

Make sure you check the labels on your food to monitor your daily sugar intake.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

For those who have diabetes, it’s important that you monitor your daily sugar intake, however, it’s equally important to ensure that you are receiving the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet to ensure that your body is getting what it needs to properly function.

The American Diabetes Association recommends 10 diabetes superfoods that when eaten in appropriate meal plan portions can provide a balanced diet that is low in sugar.

These foods provide key nutrients while having a low glycemic index (GI). As with any disease, you should partner with your healthcare provider to ensure you have the proper diet to needed manage your diabetes.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

You likely can’t eat too much of leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, and kale. These foods are low in calories and carbohydrate and high in nutrients.

Citrus Fruit

You can get much of your daily dose of soluble fiber and vitamin C through delicious favorites such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons.

Berries

You have plenty to choose from here: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, etc. No matter the berry, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.

Try them plain or in a parfait, alternating the fruit with light, non-fat yogurt (see below) for a new favorite dessert. They also make great smoothies! 

Beans

You can’t find better nutrition than that provided by beans. Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy, or black beans. Beans are high in fiber, giving you about one-third of your daily requirement in just a half a cup They are also great sources of protein, magnesium, and potassium.

You can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and thoroughly rinse them to get rid of as much sodium as possible.

Sweet Potatoes

For a lower GI alternative, try sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes. These are a starchy vegetable packed full of vitamin A and fiber.

Fat-free Milk and Yogurt

Many fortified dairy products are a great source of vitamin D, as well as calcium. Research is continually emerging that points to the connection between vitamin D and good health.

Tomatoes

Possibly one of the most versatile foods. No wonder it’s among many people’s favorite. No matter how you like to eat them – raw, pureed, or in a sauce – you’re sure to be getting vital nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and iron.

Whole Grains

When eating whole grain, it’s the germ and bran you’re after; these contain the vital nutrients in a grain product. Processed grains, such as bread made from enriched wheat flour, don’t contain germ and bran – and are also likely high in sugar.

Whole grains also offer additional nutrients, such as magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids, and folate.

Nuts

Hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, take your pick, there’s so many to choose from. As little as an ounce of nuts can go a long way in curbing hunger while providing key healthy fats. They are also a good source of magnesium and fiber.

Fish

Choose fish high in omega 3 fatty acids. There are plenty of fish in the sea to choose from, but Salmon is a favorite in this category. Avoid breaded and deep fat fried fish.

We all live on a budget, so it’s best to try to find fruits and vegetables that are in season. You can also look for frozen or canned options. With any packaged foods, be sure to check the label for sugar and sodium content.

Beans and rolled oats or barley are generally foods that every budget can live with year round.

Having diabetes doesn’t mean your diet has to suffer. In fact, there are a wealth of foods available that might just bring out the creative chef in you!